Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sequence Hook stem & pegs - reviewed by Ali

So I get this phone call a few months back, it was a flatlander asking me to review some pegs and a stem that Sequence had set him up with as part of some shady contra deal.

This flatlander also tells me to get some good photos taken of the products to go with the review.

‘Sure’ I say, ‘send ‘em on down’.

They arrived a few days later and I ripped into the package with all the excitement of anyone who loves getting free BMX parts in the mail.

After looking them over I paused thought to myself ‘humm, they seem to have been used quite a bit’.

Now used is okay for a written review, dings and missing grip tape don’t generally matter when no one can see them. What’s more if you’re unimportant like me, you’re often at the bottom of the list so it’s not uncommon to get a trashed review copies.

But really, how was I supposed to get good photos out of products that I’d sell for less than half price due wholly to visible wear and tear?

I jumped on the phone to the flatlander, ‘what’s the deal with these parts?’ I said, ‘they look like they have been used for ages’.

‘Yeah’ comes the reply, ‘sure have, I rode them for about six months’.

‘So why didn't you write the review?’ I asked.

‘Couldn’t be bothered’ he said.

There was a pause, perhaps even an uncomfortable silence.

‘Oh’ I said, ‘well, what did you think of them then?’

‘Honestly, the stem didn’t slip once and pegs are pegs’ was his evaluation.

Never have more profound words been spoken about BMX products. I’d suggest that at a minimum, when deciding which stem to buy, one that does not slip would be a great place to start.

I too ran the stem for a few months and sure enough, I can confirm that it didn’t slip once and I had no remarkable issue with it, indeed when installing it, it went together like Lego.

Which surprises me considering that the top part of the stem only had about 5mm of steer tube to grab hold of.

You see I run forks with a 165mm steer tube which I’m convinced were designed back when things like ridiculously long head tubes with oversized novelty internal cups were the domain of guys who wore cleats and shaved their nut sack.

As such, I don’t have a huge amount of slack in my steer tube, I don’t use spacers and the Brickhouse stem I’ve been running forever (which has a lower height than the Sequence Hook), grabbed hold of the whole tube. The Sequence did not. If I was going to run this stem over the long term I’d make sure there was sufficient room for it to fit to my forks.

Which would piss me off had I paid money for it – having to buy new forks that is. But it’s all a trade off, the stem is light because its had all sorts of bits cut out of it, so it has to be big to compensate for the missing material that would have provided contact and in turn grip.

I guess the law is: the more you remove of something means whatever is left behind is all the more important.

According to the Sequence website, the stems come black only and have 26mm and 50mm reach options, Flatlandfuel has them in other colours for some reason.

The pegs? Well, pegs are pegs aren’t they. I’m not a fan of grip tape, even the softer rubberised type used on this product. One of my main gripes is that the adhesive melts in the hot summers we get here in Australia. I personally think knurled is the way to go with pegs, if a little bit of knurling is hurting you hands then perhaps you should harden up.

Each peg is made from two different materials, I think its aluminium with a steel cap insert. I’m not sure how they get the cap to stay in (and I have seen it fall out on other models). They come in 1.5 and 1.65 inch diameter options and black only.

The thing about both these products is they are very flatlandy. By that I mean they are really trying to place themselves on the leading edge of flatland products.

The stem and the pegs both scream ‘I’m up with the latest in flatland products (or trends) and I care about weight’. This is not a bad thing, Sequence are clearly trying capture a part of the market but these products exist in the domain of pretzel top tubes and tiny chainrings.

Will I run the Hook stem and self titled pegs after reviewing them? No, but that’s not because they are bad products, it’s because they are not to my taste. I’m a wedge bolt skeptic and prefer knurled pegs.

You can’t buy Sequence products in Australia, so no supporting your local with this purchase, check out Sequence for more info.


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